Folks in Washington need a civics lesson. As Americans outside the beltway know, our federal government consists of the executive, legislative branch and judicial branches, and each has a duty to use its Constitutional authority in the best interests of all of us.
The executive branch – that would be President Trump - has been working hard to keep the promises he made to the American people. But the legislative branch is not doing its part. The effort to repeal and replace ObamaCare, a promise not only Trump made to voters, but one virtually every Republican lawmaker signed on to, has been contentious, unorganized and disjointed.
And now, it is in jeopardy.
For seven long years, the GOP ran on repealing and replacing ObamaCare. They said, "Give us the House." They got that in 2010. They said, "Give us the House and the Senate." They got that in 2014. Then they said, "Give us the House, the Senate and the presidency." On Nov. 8, they got that wish, and frankly, in spite of many Republicans not even supporting the nominee of their party.
In a perfect world, the work on repealing and replacement of ObamaCare would have begun on Nov. 9. And in a perfect world, the GOP would have built consensus among the different factions within the GOP -- meaning the moderates, the conservatives, the Freedom Caucus, the Study Group -- before ever unveiling the bill. That, too, never happened.
Instead, in the two weeks leading up to the release of this bill, House members were saying they were dissatisfied with the legislative process. They were being left in the dark, they had concerns that the bill would not work for their constituents. And, by the way, they never got to see it. So once the American Health Care Act was really revealed, infighting and a public civil war ensued.
The bill was quickly labeled "RyanCare" after its champion, House Speaker Paul Ryan. Others called it "ObamaCare lite." President Trump didn't write this legislation, yet he was tasked with bringing together all the GOP factions and special interests to strike a deal. Respected groups and think tanks like the Heritage Foundation, the Club for Growth, FreedomWorks, Cato, Americans for Prosperity, and frankly, every major conservative radio talk show host in the country and the American people, were all confused, angered and frustrated.
House Republicans – the legislative branch – were clearly ill-prepared for this moment to lead. They have now failed the president, and it's starting to look like they're the gang that can't shoot straight. President Trump was not served well by his party in the House of Representatives, and he has been put in the position now to do their job and marshal the votes to pass the bill.
My advice tonight for Ryan and the House Republicans is to do what they should have done from the beginning. Get everyone in a room, take away their phones, order pizza, get some beer and lock the doors. The meeting should include moderates, the GOP Study Group, the Freedom Caucus, members of the U.S. Senate, because we have to deal with the reconciliation and procedural issues. The White House should be represented, including the vice president, the Health and Human Services secretary.
And the meeting is not over until they have a deal a majority of the House can support. Even at this hour, there's still time.
House members, it is time to serve your president and the people you represent. It's time for you to fix this and show the American people that they did the right thing by giving you the power and the authority to lead.
Adapted from Sean Hannity’s monologue on “Hannity,” March 24, 2017